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This Is How This Mexican Mom From Oaxaca Is Running Successful Mole And Michelada Businesses

Bricia Lopez is am an entrepreneur who is helping her family’s business thrive. It was in the early 1990’s that Bricia, then only 10 years old, moved with her family from Oaxaca, Mexico to Los Angeles. Her father, Fernando, had a dream and a goal of providing Oaxacan Angelenos a taste of home with his restaurant Guelaguetza. Now housed in the first Korean-styled building in Koreatown (according to Bricia), Guelaguetza is still thriving under the management of Fernando’s children including Bricia. They handle the day-to-day operations of Guelaguetza as well as their own Oaxacan-inspired online businesses Mole And More, I Love Micheladas, Super Mamas Podcast, and their very own online store I Love Mole. Bricia sat down with mitú to talk about what it means to be in charge of a restaurant catering to regional food and becoming a boss-level woman in the hyper competitive food industry.

Tucked away in Los Angeles’ Koreatown, you’ll find Guelaguetza, an authentic Oaxacan-themed restaurant that has been thriving for more than 20 years.

Christina Henderson

“People from Oaxaca have a very specific relationship to food where food is your life. Everything surrounds food. Family, celebration, death, everything has to do with food,” Mexican-born restauranteur Bricia Lopez told mitú. “

[Guelaguetza] is our home and we serve the food that we grew up with. It’s not fancy food. It’s not fusion food. It’s not new Californian food. It’s not new Mexican food. It’s not innovative. It’s just traditional food that I grew up eating, just very high quality. So, that’s how the menu of the restaurant was inspired. Just foods that we grew up eating off the road [in Oaxaca]. Everything you find here at the restaurant is what you can find in Oaxaca.”

The restaurant has been passed down from founder and father Fernando Lopez to his children. Bricia said that the transfer of power left her with a stunning message from her father about the benefits of being a woman and a boss.

Christina Henderson

Bricia admitted to mitú that when she first took charge of the restaurant, she was often looked as the “daughter of” Fernando. She longed to be seen as the boss and she asked her father for help getting that respect since he is the one who started the restaurant. His response? He told her she would have to work for it.

“He told me, ‘I wish I was a woman because you guys have so much power,'” Bricia recalled to mitú.

Christina Henderson

Bricia continued: “He said, ‘You guys are so much smarter than us. You guys just have so much more ability and can also be so nurturing. You need to understand that what you have is very powerful. As a woman you are ahead of every man that you meet. So you need to understand that it’s a plus. You need to learn how to navigate your womanhood and take advantage of it and earn people’s trust. I can’t give you that.’”

Bricia also learned that it was important to treat employees as family, which she says comes naturally to her.

Christina Henderson

To Bricia, taking charge of the restaurant meant embracing all the employees as her family because all of them are working to a common goal: the success of Guelaguetza.

Bricia shared that very early on, she learned that success to her is all about being purpose-driven.

Christina Henderson

“Understand why you are doing everything that you do. When you are purpose-driven, it is not about the to-do list,” Bricia told mitú. “It is about achieving a bigger thing that can get ten things out of the way. It’s about deciding if this thing that you are doing is taking you a step into your purpose or away from it and if it is taking me away from it, then why am I bothering with it.”

Bricia argues that it is not enough to just set a to-do list and just do them because you think they need to be done. What has helped her succeed is making sure that everything she has been doing had the result of taking her closer to her purpose and goal.

This purpose-driven, just do it attitude has translated into the Lopez children launching a handful of online businesses that were born out of Guelaguetza.

Christina Henderson

Guelaguetza and the Lopez siblings are helping to bring Oaxacan flavors and culture to people across the country from mole to micheladas to Oaxacan clothing (in the Koreatown restaurant). Bricia told mitú that it was a no-brainer to sell their products online to fans and Oaxacan expatriates living in the U.S.

“We just did it,” Bricia told mitú about launching their online store.

Christina Henderson

“We Googled everything and found out how to do things,” Bricia told mitú. “I feel like so many times people make things more complicated than they should be. Like, it’s not that complicated. People were asking us for the micheladas. We’ve been serving the micheladas since we opened. People would come in and ask if they could buy the mix from us so we would fill up empty tequila bottles and sell them and they would come back every weekend. By then, we had opened our online store where we shipped our mole so we started thinking about what else we could sell in our store.” That’s when I Love Micheladas was born.

As a mother, Bricia understands that sometimes things can get pretty hectic, but that should never stop you from achieving your dreams.

Christina Henderson

“I think for mothers, the number one thing is to understand that it’s okay to ask for help,” Bricia advises for any mother looking to start or grow their own business. “Latinas, especially moms, feel like because their moms raised four kids as immigrants with nothing and they cooked every day. I honestly don’t know how they did it. We feel like we have to do the same thing, we can’t complain, we can’t have these issues, and we can’t feel pain or ask for help because we have to be able to do everything by ourselves, which is not true. We need to remember that our moms who were able to do all that have a community around them of primas, of support.”

“You need to understand that you need to take care of yourself first and then you can take care of everyone else,” Bricia said of being a mom and a businesswoman.

Christina Henderson

“You just need to find whatever makes you happy and do whatever make you feel a little selfish and look to take care of yourself because when you’re happy, your family will be happy,” Bricia continued about being a mom and entrepreneur. “A lot of moms don’t do that. Latina moms don’t take care of themselves. It’s like, first is my baby, then it’s my husband, then are my friends, then it’s my business, then there’s this, and at the bottom of all of this, is me. What kind of mother are you going to be if you put yourself last? What kind of wife are you going to be if you make yourself last? What kind of friend are you going to be if you put yourself last?”


READ: This Latina Wasn’t Going To Become Another Starving Artist So She Built An Empire Using Social Media

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Mare Advertencia Lirika’s Rap Game Is An Ode To Social Resistance

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Mare Advertencia Lirika’s Rap Game Is An Ode To Social Resistance

In Oaxaca, Mexico the hip-hop scene is dominated by men. Influenced by early ’90s American rap artists, most lyrics are misogynistic; a commonality in past and present wrap.

As a feminist uprising fuels the country, female rappers like Mare Advertencia Lirika utilize the depth hip-hop activism can have on social justice.

Growing up listening to banda, Lirika became exposed to American hip-hop when she was 12.

Although a fan, her language barrier impacted her resonance with the genre. After hearing Mexican rap groups like Caballeros de Plan G and Vieja Guardia, her spark for rap reignited.

“The history of rap is a mix of so many things that it gives room for anyone to fit into it,” she told Refinery29.

At 16, her rap career took off.

Under a machismo culture where women are often told ‘calladita te ves más bonita,’ Lirika defies outdated standards.

In her latest feminist anthem “Que Mujer,” she encourages women to rise up against patriarchal rhetorics.

With passion and prowess, her bona fide representation of class and gender struggles echo marginalized communities disenfranchised by systems of power.

Femicide rates in Mexico are rampant, having doubled in the last five years. On average 10 women are killed every day, but due to unreliable data and systematic impunity, many cases go under-investigated.

Oaxaca is a hot spot for violence, a reality Lirika knows too well. When she was five, her father was murdered resulting in the circumstantial feminist upbringing that fueled her vocality. Raised by her mother, grandmother and aunts, witnessing women take charge in making tough decisions helped to normalize her outspokenness.

Her feminist upbringing made her the strong woman she is today.

Identifying as Zapotec, an indigenous community native to Oaxaca, Lirika’s potent lyrics pay homage to her matriarchal upbringing and social resistance.

In “¿Y Tú Qué Esperas?” Lirika’s hearty alto sound shines as she asks that women speak and live their truth.

In songs like “Se Busca” she renders a poignant message demanding the return of those who have been kidnapped. Her visuals further amplify the severity of the issue as she raps, “cada persona que no está es un ausencia que no sana.”

Unafraid of confrontation, her cutthroat verses and poeticism are visceral.

Listening to her beats feel reminiscent of old-school rap, making it almost impossible to not nod along to her intellectual wit. Fusing the melodies of cumbias and reggae among others, she spits bars that sound the alarm of revolution.

But hostility towards women in the Oaxaca rap scene still lingers.

“Most people still think that women aren’t compatible with rap and think that we are wasting our time,” she told The New York Times in 2018. “We have to continue to show up at shows because it gives us confidence to see other women rap and to show people that we can also do this.”

Perhaps one of the best known Oaxaca rappers Lirika, 34, has established herself as a prominent figure in the genre. But her call to action is just beginning.

“My life context has taught me that I can use my voice,” she told Refinery29. “And maybe that’s a privilege of mine, one I shouldn’t have, but I trust very much what I have to say. I don’t fear what I have to say.”

READ: Latinas Talk About Learning Of The Heartbreaking Colonization Of Indigenous Land And The Genocide Of Its People

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A Mexican Artist Is Making Pancake Art That’s Too Beautiful To Eat

Culture

A Mexican Artist Is Making Pancake Art That’s Too Beautiful To Eat

Social media is where people can show off just about anything they create. This includes art in any and all media, like pancake art. Claudia, the creator behind Nappan Pancake art, is the latest artist watching their art reach the masses.

Claudia, the artist behind Nappan Pancake art, got her start because of the pandemic.

@nappancakes

casi ✨1 año✨haciendo #pancakeart 🥞 #parati #foryou #viral #trend #glowup #art #foryoupage

♬ Inox la bggg – ᗰᗩᖇIE ᗰOI ᑎᗩᖇᑌTO

The artist first started to play around with pancake art last spring break when the pandemic forced businesses and schools to close. Claudia wanted to get more creative with her kids’ breakfasts since they were now always at home.

“I started experimenting with making Pancake art,” Claudia recalls to mitú. “At first I only used the color of the natural dough and a little cocoa. At first, I just used the ketchup dispensers and little by little I learned.”

Claudia uses her pancake art to honor some truly iconic people.

@nappancakes

Responder a @detodoun_poco233 Cepillín ✨🥞✨ en nuestros ♥️ #parati #fy #HijosAdopTiktoks #adoptiktoks #viral #foryou @cepillintv #pancakeart ncakeart

♬ La Feria de Cepillin – Cepillín

Cepillín recently died and the loss was felt throughout the community. He made our lives joyous and fun with his music, especially his birthday song. Some of the creations are done for fans who request to see their faves turned into delicious pancake art.

The artist loves creating the edible works of art.

The journey of becoming a pancake artist has been a fun adventure for Claudia and her children. The more she has practiced, the more she has been able to do.

“Sometimes I scream with excitement and I go to all the members of my house to see it,” Claudia says about her successes. “Other times it’s just a feeling like “disappointment could be better” other times it just breaks or burns and then I just cry but it usually feels very satisfying.”

You can check out all of her creations on TikTok.

@nappancakes

Responder a @reyna100804santoyo siii🥞✨ díganle que me adopte 🥺 @ederbez #adoptiktoks #hijosadoptiktoks #parati #foryou #viral #fy #art #pancakeart

♬ Little Bitty Pretty One – Thurston Harris

With 350,000 followers and growing, it won’t be long until more people start to fully enjoy Claudia’s art. Her children can’t get enough of it and she is so excited to share it with the rest of the world.

READ: Spicy Food Lovers Have Reason To Celebrate As New Study Says Eating Chilies Could Be Secret To Longevity

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